Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dreams *DO* Come True!

In Relief Society a week or two before I left Santa Barbara for New York, our new RS President posed the question: "What were some of your childhood dreams, and have any of them come true?" Several sisters commented that they had fulfilled their dreams of becoming mothers, or graduating from college, and I shared with them my dual childhood dreams of living in California (formed with I was 6 and my family made its first visit to Disneyland) and becoming a Grandmother (made when I was 12). I remember watching the sun setting in the West from my bedroom window and thinking, "You are shining on California now. Is my chosen love there, and does he wonder about me - - - who I am, and where we'll meet? I wonder how I will know him?"

I have now been a Californian for 3/5 of my life, and the past 6 weeks I have had the privilege of fulfilling my other childhood dream: On March 11, our children, Derrill and Joy, presented us with a beautiful grandson, Hyrum Spencer. On March 13, I flew to New York to render whatever aid I could - - - which mostly meant washing dishes and laundry, and taking the baby at night so mom and dad could get some uninterrupted sleep!

Little Hyrum Spencer had some SERIOUS problems nursing, and had a VERY difficult first week of life. Spent the first 4 full days screaming every time Joy would attempt to feed him. I cannot BEGIN to describe it. If you put every exhausted 2-year-old temper tantrum thrown at Disneyland in a WEEK together, and then multiply it by 3, it *might* come close. He was screaming so long and so hard, I was convinced he was going to rupture something. And mostly it was when Joy would try to nurse him!!! He lost a frightening amount of weight (15%!!!) and folks were talking about putting him in the hospital . . . but we got a 2-day reprieve, and Joy started expressing like a mad woman, and we hand fed Hyrum with a medicine dropper . . .

It was everything we could manage between the 3 of us just trying to get enough milk into the baby, but he *did* catch up, if not catch on! He gained 7 oz in those 2 days! The doctor was THRILLED, and we felt encouraged knowing that we *could* get enough milk into him one way or another.

Well, it took a solid month, and some inspiration on the part of Joy's grandmother, who sent her a special nursing aid, but Hyrum is finally able to get his nourishment from Mom, in the manner the Good Lord intended. And when he is full, he is a VERY delightful little fellow, who will sleep for 6 and 7 hours at a stretch, who enjoys rides in the car, long walks so he can enjoy the wonder of God's creations, and being held and cuddled.

Given the difficulties everyone faced because of Hyrum's inability to learn to nurse properly, I am particularly grateful that God has placed us in favorable circumstances, to enable me to run off for that long a period of time, to allow Derrin to come and visit us, with technology that allowed me to keep up with my various church callings even at that distance, and with the love of family & friends who did so much to help us.

Even though it was out of his way, Derrin was able to fly to LA and escort his mother to Ithaca this past weekend for Hyrum's official "Naming and blessing." And Aunt Virginia flew to New York City and then drove to Ithaca so she could be there, too.

While waiting for one of our flights home yesterday, Grammy asked me what was the best part of my visit, and I really had to think, because there were so many wonderful, choice memories. The one I came up with that I shared with her was cuddling with Hyrum in bed, when he was
full of milk and sleepy but fussy. It was wonderful the way he responded to the warmth and close contact of cradling and rocking.

But I have come up with another one today - - - and it is one that I first realized when Derrill and Steve were born: it is the wonder of looking into the eyes of a new spirit so clean and pure
and trusting, and wondering what incredible things he might say if he were permitted to.

Derrin's response to Grammy's question, with moisture in his eyes, was "holding him in church."
Yes, dreams *do* come true - - - you just have to hang in there long enough!

1 comment:

  1. Joy says: I'm glad I don't have vivid memories of most of that first week.